Football Tips: The 3 best bets for Brighton v Watford on Saturday

Our footie tipster Andrew Beasley is expecting Brighton to dominate against Watford.

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Isn’t it great to have football back? Proper football, with fans in the stands and VAR not getting involved as much? Glorious stuff.

It’s also good to watch the Saturday evening kick off, when you’re having your tea before heading out for the night. But the powers that be – the TV companies – haven’t given us a particularly juicy game this weekend.


Saturday 17:30 – Brighton v Watford
Sky Sports Premier League

It’s a big match for Brighton and Watford though, as both teams won their opening game, and three more points here would take the victor a large stride toward their primary target of staying up this season. It will also see them go into the first international break no worse than level with Manchester City’s billion-pound squad.

Fellow statheads will be all too aware that the Seagulls underperformed against their expected goal figures last season and were a much better side than their results suggested. The home team are worthy favourites to win the game but what are the three best bets here?

Graham Potter

The short-priced bet – Under 2.5 Goals

As the Hornets won their first game back in the Premier League 3-2 against Aston Villa, while Brighton came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1, tipping there to be under 2.5 goals might seem surprising.

However, those results were not run of the mill for these teams. Over the last three seasons, only Wolverhampton Wanderers (among the top flight’s 15 ever-present clubs in that period) saw fewer Premier League games with over 2.5 goals than Brighton did.

On home turf specifically, only Palace have seen fewer total goals since the start of 2018/19, so the two sets of fans can discuss whose team is more boring in a calm and pleasant manner when the M23 derby comes around next month.

As for Watford, they might have finished 2020/21 second in the Championship, but they were second bottom in the entertaining stakes, with only Nottingham Forest averaging fewer total goals per game.

The skinny odds reflect that under 2.5 goals is the likely outcome – and it has paid out in five of the last six meetings between these teams – so don’t let their relative goal-fests last weekend try to convince you otherwise.

The value bet – Brighton to Win 2-0

There’s a pretty good chance that Brighton will keep their first clean sheet of the campaign in this match.

The 2021 Champions League finalists were the only two teams in the division who held more visiting teams to nil last season. It was no accident that Brighton were so hard to break down either, as only City allowed their opponents a lower expected goal total when playing at home.

Graham Potter’s side also dominated plenty of games at the Amex Stadium, having an xG advantage of at least 1.9 five times (only three teams racked up more such matches on their own turf).

Their poor finishing meant they only took six points from those five fixtures, but if they take their chances – which is a huge ask with this Brighton team – a 2-0 win seems well within their means.

The long shot – Brighton 1+ Goals in Each Half, Brighton 3+ Corners in Each Half and Watford 1+ Cards in Each Half

Our long shot bet this week is a treble of sorts, so let’s look at the three constituent parts of the wager.

As we think Brighton will win 2-0, it’s not unreasonable to think they will score in each half. Goals before the break have been a problem for the Seagulls but they did score in both halves in two of their last five home games last season, and against Manchester United and Wolves earlier in the campaign.

Brighton have a good record with corners, averaging 5.8 per match in 2020/21, which was the fifth most in the Premier League, and had six at Burnley last weekend to keep that rate ticking over. With Watford joint-top of the Championship for total corners last season too, three in each half for the home side seems reasonable.

And the Glory Hornet Boys were also joint leaders of the second tier when it came to yellow cards. Juraj Kucka was booked in the first half last time out against Villa, with Ken Sema and Peter Etebo joining him in the ref’s notebook after half time. More of the same this week and we’ll be well set for long shot gold.

Brighton v Watford betting tips:

The short-priced bet – Under 2.5 Goals
The value bet – Brighton to Win 2-0
The long shot – Brighton 1+ Goals in Each Half, Brighton 3+ Corners in Each Half and Watford 1+ Cards in Each Half

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.


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